It’s hard to know why President Obama said what he said at Tuesday’s health-care town hall in New Hampshire. He actually stated, “If you think about it, UPS and FedEx are doing just fine. It’s the Post Office that’s always having problems.”
Oops. Freudian slip? Subliminally speaking, was the president inferring that private health insurers are doing just fine?
Government insurance is what’s in trouble today. Medicare is in the hole by about $40 trillion on a discounted present-value basis over the next 40 or 50 years. And if we’re going to equate government care to government mail, according to Steve Hayes of the Weekly Standard, the U.S. Postal Service is going bankrupt with a $7 billion net loss this year. With 633,000 career employees, the Post Office won’t be able to make $5.4 billion in retiree health-benefit payments. How many of these federal employees will populate the new government-backed insurance plan if it passes?
So it’s something of a mystery why the president went down the FedEx/UPS/Post Office turnpike. Perhaps the inner Obama is a free-enterprise guy. Maybe in the heat of battle his private-sector FedEx/UPS endorsement kind of, well, slipped out unconsciously.
Some will be skeptical of this reasoning. But having once had dinner with the man, along with other conservative pundits, and knowing how carefully he parses his words, it’s hard to understand how he let this free-market blessing slip out. Perhaps he’s secretly competing with Joe Biden to win the hoof-in-mouth-disease contest.
Obama’s health-care gaffes are mounting. At a press conference a few weeks back, the president let fly with an attack on doctors who remove tonsils instead of handing out allergy pills. Since doctors are very popular in America, and with many Obamacare protesters opposed to putting government central planners between doctors and patients, this was a big mistake. Worth noting, at that same presser, Obama also put his foot in it by attacking the Cambridge police officer at the center of the Henry Louis Gates affair. More hoof-in-mouth.
Obama’s response in New Hampshire to the so-called death-board issue also was revealing. Some say these boards are tantamount to euthanasia for the elderly. Placards outside the meeting read: “Obamacare, Down the Chute Granny.” (Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin is spearheading this protest.)